Roberto D. Sirvent Ph.D., J.D.

Associate Professor of Political and Social Ethics

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EDUCATION:

  • Ph.D., London School of Theology, UK
  • J.D., University of Maryland School of Law
  • M.A., Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A., Hope International University

SELECTED COURSES TAUGHT:

  • Justice
  • Human Rights and International Politics
  • Model United Nations
  • Constitutional Law and Interpretation
  • Ethics and Contemporary Issues
  • Ethics of War and Peace
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Ethics of Love
  • Film and the Human Condition
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Justice Theories
  • American Government
  • Democratic Political Theory
  • Critical Thinking and Argumentation

ACADEMIC INTERESTS:

  • Law and Social Movements
  • Decolonial Ethics and Epistemologies
  • Medical Ethics
  • Moral Reasoning and Historical Memory
  • Human Rights and International Law
  • Philosophies of Race and Racism
  • Critical Prison Studies
  • Criminalization and Immigration

KEY HONORS / POSITIONS HELD:

  • Instructor, Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Summer Institute (2014, 2015, 2017)
  • Visiting Scholar, Princeton Theological Seminary (July-August, 2015)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, University of Copenhagen (June-July, 2015)
  • Visiting Scholar, Yale University-Hastings Center (June 2014)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College (January 2014)
  • Rose B. and Edgar B. McReynolds Faculty Excellence Award, Hope International University (2011)
  • Legal Intern, Office of U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Washington, DC (2008)
  • Teaching Fellow, University of Maryland School of Law (2006-2008)

AFFILIATIONS:

  • Book Forum Editor, Black Agenda Report
  • Outreach and Mentoring Coordinator, Political Theology Network
  • American Philosophical Association (APA), Founder and Chair of Political Theology Group (Pacific Division), Founder and Chair of Virtue Ethics Group (Pacific Division)
  • Society for Mexican American Philosophy
  • Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love
  • Member, Hospital Ethics Committee, Kaiser Permanente Hospital – Orange County (2015-2016)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

Authored Books

  • American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror, Book co-authored with Danny Haiphong (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2019).
  • Embracing Vulnerability: Human and Divine (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014)

Edited Books

  • Theologies of Failure. Book co-edited with Duncan Reyburn (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publications, 2019).
  • Kierkegaard and Political Theology. Book co-edited with Silas Morgan (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2018).
  • By Faith and Reason: The Essential Keith Ward. Book co-edited with Wm. Curtis Holtzen (London: Darton Longman and Todd Publishers, 2012).

Edited Journals

  • “Spirituality and Abolition,” Special Issue of Abolition – a Journal of Insurgent Politics, co-edited with Ashon Crawley, forthcoming.
  • “Sport and Failure,” Special Issue of the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, co-edited with Samantha N. Sheppard, 2019.
  • “Disability and the Decolonial Turn,” Special Issue of Disability and the Global South, co-edited with Amy Reed-Sandoval, 2019.
  • “Navigating the Personal, Political, and Postcolonial,” Special Issue of the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, Vol. 15, no. 2, Spring 2016.

Journal Articles

  • “Collisions, Coloniality, and Learning How to Play: An Interview with Maria Lugones,” APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, Vol. 15, no. 2, Spring 2016.
  • "The Problem With Wise Old Fish: An Analysis of Rhetorical Strategy in David Foster Wallace's Kenyon College Commencement Address" (with Neil Baker). Special Issue: Phenomenology and Education. Ed. Elias Schwieler. Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 14.2 (2014): n. pag.

Chapters in Books

  • “The Revolutionary as Prophet: Imagining New Futures, Theorizing ‘What Could Have Been,’ and Rejecting the Ways of the World,” co-authored with Andrea Smith, in David True, ed., Prophecy in a Secular Age (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, forthcoming).
  • “The Invention of Religion and Fanaticism,” co-authored with Duncan Reyburn, in Arthur Remillard and Rebecca Alpert, eds., Gods, Games, and Globalization: New Perspectives on Religion and Sports (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2019).
  • “Please Don’t Go Out and Change the World: An Interview with William Cavanaugh,” in Roberto Sirvent and Duncan Reyburn, eds., Theologies of Failure (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publications,  2019).
  • “Uniforms, Unanimity, and the Pursuit of False Transcendence: Reading Militarism and Sport Through Mimetic Realism,” co-authored with Duncan Reyburn, in Michael Butterworth, ed., Sport and Militarism: Contemporary Global Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2018).
  •  “Kierkegaard, Chesterton, and the Courage to be an Absolute Nobody,” co-authored with Duncan Reyburn, in Roberto Sirvent and Silas Morgan, eds., Kierkegaard and Political Theology (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2018).
  • “Niebuhrian Realism in Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Henry Veggian and Richard Purcell, eds., Barack Obama’s Literary Legacy: Readings of Dreams From My Father, (New York: Palgrave, 2016).
  • “‘A Mormon Just Believes’: Reinhold Niebuhr and Religious Foolishness,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Marc Edward Shaw and Holly Welker, eds., Anthology on the Book of Mormon Musical (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
  •  “Louis C.K.’s God,” co-authored with Silas Morgan, in Mark Ralkowski, ed., Louis CK and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2016). 
  • “Kierkegaard and Louis CK on Not Doing Something,” co-authored with Joel Avery, in Mark Ralkowski, ed., Louis CK and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2016).
  •  “Freedom and Democracy in a House of Fear,” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in J. Edward Hackett, ed., House of Cards and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).
  • “Handling Snakes with Fear and Trembling,” co-authored with Caleb Acton, in Rod Carveth and Robert Arp, eds., Justified and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2015).
  •  “Listen, Ladies! Or Maybe You Shouldn’t,” co-authored with Joel Avery, in Richard Greene and Rachel Robison-Greene, eds., Girls and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2014).
  • “Is There Such a Thing as Religious Violence?” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in Robert Arp, ed., Homeland and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).
  • “America Akbar!” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in Robert Arp, ed., Homeland and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).
  • South Park, The Book of Mormon and How Religious Fundamentalists Always Find a Way to Be Naïve and Arrogant at the Same Time,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Robert Arp, ed., The Ultimate South Park and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
  • “GOP Almighty: When God Tells Me (and My Opponents) to Run for President,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Jason Holt, ed., The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Reviews

  • “Review of Thomas P. Miles’ Kierkegaard and Nietzsche on the Best Way of Life: A New Method of Ethics,” in Kierkegaard Secondary Literature, Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, vol.18.1, ed. by Jon Stewart (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2015).
  • “Review of Rick Anthony Furtak’s Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity,” in Kierkegaard Secondary Literature, Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, vol.18.1, ed. by Jon Stewart (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2015). 
  • Ward E. Jones and Samantha Vice, eds., Ethics at the Cinema in Philosophy in Review, Vol 32, No 2 (2012).
  • Robert Talisse, Democracy and Moral Conflict in Philosophy in Review, Vol 30, No 6 (2010).

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS AND INVITED LECTURES:

  • “Bioethics, Narrative Medicine, and the Afterlives of Slavery,” Invited Lecture, Yale University, Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics, July 2019.
  • “Prisons, Policing, and Public Health,” Workshop taught at Yale University, Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics, July 2019.
  • “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence,” (with Danny Haiphong), Harvard Bookstore, July 2019.
  • “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence,” (with Danny Haiphong), Yale Bookstore, July 2019.
  • “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence,” (with Danny Haiphong), The People’s Forum, New York, July 2019.
  • “Imagining New Worlds: Religion, Revolution, and Abolitionist Dreams,” Gonzaga University School of Law’s Third Annual Human Rights Symposium: Freedom of Expression as a Human Right, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Italia, Florence, Italy, June 2019.
  • “Prisons, Policing, and Premature Death: Why Abolition Matters for Public Health,” UCLA, Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Health, May 2019.
  • “Prisons, Policing, and Premature Death: Why Abolition Matters for Public Health,” University of California Irvine, Population Health and Disease Prevention: Public Health Seminar Series, February 2019.
  • “American Innocence and the Ethics of Patriotism,” University College Dublin, School of Politics and International Relations, Political Theory Workshop, April 2018.
  • “Epistemic Injustice and Decolonial Theology,” Trinity College Dublin, Department of Philosophy, April 2018.
  • "Terror, Historical Memory, and the Myth of Religious Violence,” University College Dublin, Centre for War Studies, April 2018.
  • “Imagining a World without Prisons” (with Amber-Rose Howard), Invited Lecture, Pomona College, “Pizza and Politics” Fall Series, October, 2017. 
  • “White Supremacy, Clinical Medicine, and the U.S. Prison Regime: End-of-Life-Care in an Age of Mass Incarceration,” Invited Lecture, Yale University, Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics, June 2016.
  • "Narrating the Phenomenological Messiness of Sex and Intimacy," Paper presented at the International Society for the Study of Narrative Annual Conference, Chicago, March 2015.
  • "The Peril and Politics of Attempting to Distinguish Between 'Religious' and 'Secular' Wisdom," Paper presented at the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics "Wisdom, Law, and Lawers" Conference, Pepperdine University February 2015.
  • Comments on John Thrasher's "Backing into Self-Ownership," American Philosophical Association (Pacific), San Diego, April 2014.
  • "Why Agape is Not More Christian than Eros and Philia" Paper presented at teh Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics,"Law and Love" Conference, Pepperdine University, February 2014.
  • "Are There Good Reasons to Root for a Sports Team? And Does it Even Matter?" Paper presented at the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport Conference, Fullerton, CA, September 2013.
  • “Why the Church Needs Satire: The Onion’s Niebuhrian Attack on Religious Dogma,” Paper presented at the “Satire Across Borders” International Conference, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, January 2013.
  • “A Communitarian Approach to the Politics of Film: Reimagining Our Identity as Storytelling Beings,” Paper presented at the Association for Legal and Social Philosophy 2012 Annual Conference, Belfast, Ireland, June 2012.
  • “Moral Reasoning, Divine Providence, and the Problem of Religious Fundamentalism: Reinhold Niebuhr’s Relevance in Today’s Culture Wars,” Paper presented at the 2012 California American Studies Association annual meeting, Claremont, CA, April 2012.
  • “Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Arrogance, and the Problem of Christian Pacifism,” Paper presented at the Graduate Student History Conference: “The Politics of Unrest: A Transdisciplinary Conference”, Claremont Graduate University, April 2012.
  • “Biblical Interpretation and Moral Humility in the Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr,” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association, San Diego, CA, April 2012.
  • "The Tragic Hero as Social Critic: Exploring the Intents and Effects of Aaron Sorkin’s Use of Irony in The Social Network," Paper presented at the City University of New York’s ‘Finishes: Arts and Texts in Cinema and Media’ Conference, New York City, NY, March 2012.
  • "Baseball, Civic Identity, and the Just Society," Paper presented at the 19th Annual Spring Training Conference on the Historical and Sociological Impact of Baseball, sponsored by Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, Tempe, AZ, March 2012.
  • "What’s so ‘Crazy’ About Love? A Philosophical Analysis of Crazy Stupid Love and Like Crazy," Paper presented at the Far West Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, February 2012.
  • "The Politics of Relationships and the Limits of Intent: How Aaron Sorkin Redefined the Political Film," Paper presented at the National Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting, Film Section, San Antonio, TX, April 2011
  • Religious Perspectives on Hatred (panel), International Conference on Hate Studies, Gonzaga University, April 2011

CONFERENCE PANELS ORGANIZED AND CHAIRED:

“Religion, Philosophy, and Prison Abolition,” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group Session. Panel participants: Joy James (Williams College), Natalie Cisneros (Seattle University), Colby Lenz (USC), Andrea Pitts (University of North Carolina – Charlotte), Dan Berger (University of Washington), Brady Heiner (California State – Fullerton), Vincent Lloyd (Villanova), Seattle, April 2017.

“Sex and Postcolonial Theology” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group Session. Panel participants: Mayra Rivera (Harvard), Janet Jakobsen (Barnard), Brenna Moore (Fordham), Erin Runions (Pomona), Vincent Lloyd (Syracuse), Anthony Petro (Boston University), San Francisco, April 2016.

“Sex and Secularism” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group Session. Panel participants: Janet Jakobsen (Barnard), Mayra Rivera (Harvard), Brenna Moore (Fordham), Erin Runions (Pomona), Vincent Lloyd (Syracuse), Anthony Petro (Boston University), San Francisco, April 2016.

“Kierkegaard and Political Theology” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group session.  Panel participants: Dana Lloyd (Syracuse), Thomas Miles (Boston College), Jami Aroosi (Yeshiva), Silas Morgan (Loyola University Chicago), Vincent Lloyd (Syracuse), Vancouver, April 2015.

“Meaning, Sacrifice, and the Nation-State” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group session.  Panel participants: Mathias Risse (Harvard), Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt), Richard Amesbury (University of Zurich), Paul W. Kahn (Yale), Vancouver, April 2015.

“The Myth of Religious Reasons: Public Reason Meets Political Theology” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group session.  Panel participants: Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt), Richard Amesbury (University of Zurich), San Diego, April 2014.

WORKS IN PROGRESS:

Bioethics and Black Suffering (book)

 

Abolitionist Ethics and Mutual Aid (book)

 

“Epistemic Oppression and Medical Ethics” (article)